American Airlines announced today it will invest $550 million at its Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa (Tech Ops – Tulsa). It is American’s largest Base Maintenance facility and is an integral part of operating the carrier’s fleet of nearly 1,000 mainline aircraft safely and reliably.
Tech Ops – Tulsa is home to more than 5,500 team members — 600 of those positions were added in 2019 — and conducts nearly half of the airline’s overall maintenance work. The new project includes construction of a new widebody-capable hangar and base support building. The investment also provides for improvements to the existing infrastructure, including roof replacements, utility and IT upgrades, and ramp repairs. This is the largest investment ever made at a maintenance location in American’s history.
This investment underscores American’s long-term commitment to the Tech Ops – Tulsa team, State of Oklahoma and City of Tulsa by making improvements to ensure success.
“The American team in Tulsa and around the world is the best in the business when it comes to operating the safest and most reliable fleet of commercial aircraft,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “Tulsa has been core to American’s operation for more than 70 years, and this investment in the base, along with the new positions we added at Tech Ops – Tulsa in 2019, will ensure our customers can continue to rely on our fleet as the safest and most reliable for decades to come.”
The new 193,000-square-foot hangar will be able to hold two widebody aircraft — or up to six narrowbody aircraft — and will replace two existing hangars that can no longer fully accommodate the size of American’s current aircraft. This will allow team members to continue maintenance work on the more than 900 aircraft that visit the site annually while also adding to the widebody hangar capacity in American’s system. The 132,000-square-foot base support building will include offices for teams in administrative functions for aircraft overhaul, engineering and more.
The $550 million investment will take approximately seven years to complete and will involve upgrades to nearly every building. The new hangar and base support building construction is expected to begin in early 2021 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.
American has proudly maintained the world’s largest commercial aviation maintenance facility in Tulsa since 1946, when it moved its main maintenance base there from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Today, Tech Ops – Tulsa is home to 22 buildings, including 3.3 million square feet of hangar and shop space positioned on 330 acres at Tulsa International Airport. It is a hub for American’s Base Maintenance system, which also includes key maintenance hangars at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport. American performs more maintenance work in-house than any other airline, due in part to its strong maintenance system infrastructure.
The modernization plan is the latest step following a period of growth for the Tulsa base. American insourced CFM56-5B engine overhaul work there in 2018. In 2019, American and the City of Tulsa invested in a new tail slot modification for Hangar 2D at the base to allow space for larger aircraft. The team began maintenance work on the first scheduled line of Airbus A319 fleet as well as scheduled maintenance on the Boeing 787 fleet, and component repair work was insourced to the base’s Wheel and Brake Center. To support the additional work, American has added more than 600 maintenance positions.